I see local spiking!

Well, today has been a very, very laggy day. I have been told that there has been massive fighting in nullsec, and according to a brief message that flashed on my screen, gates have been shut down.

I’m kinda wondering if the fighters filled out CCPs new “hugeass bitchin fleet fight” form.

Anyway, since the nullsec before Dominion was like a bucket of squirrels fighting over a bunch of acorns, Dominion seems to have effectively covered the acorns in grease. Lots and lots of lovely fighting, and all the squirrels losing body parts which stimulates the squirrel body part market so the cyborg squirrel manufacturers can sell bionic arms to the squirrels…..

Tortured, yet funny extended metaphor aside, the freighter ganks were interesting, but the amount of sovereignty gain and loss over the last few days, now easily viewed from the yellow sovereignty button, is fairly unnerving:

Hurray for MS paint. Anyway, All this fighting has been expected for a while now, but one thing is for certain: these warring dudes are gonna run outta ships eventually, and then the power shall return to the place it belongs: the miners! muahaha!

In all seriousness, I’m a bit worried that this will only make t2 prices rise, as pvpers are gonna want ships NOW, immediately, before the dreads finish cynoing into their home base. Where Eve goes from here, no-one knows, but following chaos theory I predict AAA and goonswarm wiping each other out, being beaten to pieces by xxdeathxx, who form an alliance with atlas, while a relative unknown manages to establish a nullsec trading post and manages to keep it going by the policy of setting all station campers to red so they can’t use the station and letting everyone else come and sell/buy. And maybe, just maybe, they call the station…Milliways.

Predictions/dreams aside, we had a very, very nice day in the WH and made quite a bit, top of the head calculations gives 230 mil apiece between 6 people(or however much 3.1 mil m3 of bistot goes for nowadays). One of these people is a new member in the corp, new to the WH op, so as is our custom he can’t take from the hangars and has to end and begin every sentence with the word “sir”.

From a personal standpoint, I’m suspicious of every new person regardless of background, and now that I have an orca I’ve moved everything that I consider mine into a GSC, given it an eight-digit password, put it in the secure box of the orca and log off with it at a safespot, with my blockade runner and hulk inside.

I give it… 3-4 weeks before I trust anyone new to the corp, because after 3-4 weeks, the wait has reduced their profit-time ratio to below mining veldspar in an osprey :). This is countered, unfortunately, by making about 100 mil per day in the WH./facepalm

Trust is a very, very good thing to have. I can count the number of people I truly trust in eve on one hand, mainly because I’ve known them for over a year now. It’s my philosophy that if you can’t physically punch someone in the face, then they have no reason to not cheat you in a game about internet spaceships.

P.S. hulks at 175 in Jita, what the hell? Also, I really wish I could write less time-sensitive blogs so that I could stagger them better than three in a day after 5 days of nothing, but life’s an isk spammer. I’ve got 2 more slightly less time sensative posts in drafts, and should be able to get back to a one every 2 day schedule, assuming goonswarm doesn’t dissolve in the next week or two or something amazing like that.

This post written while WH mining, apparently I have a death wish >.<


Deus ex machinomgpwn

It had all happened so fast.

Among the many phrases running through the man’s head at that moment, that one was prevalent. The pieces of the proud Achnavah V floated slowly around him, named for an old friend in old times. It wasn’t the newest ship, wasn’t the cheapest, but it was the best he could find with the money he had, not counting the added cost of removing the pod interface so he could fly the thing. Hell, he had been flying the barge for months and was still afraid to pull or turn one of the many, many levers that surrounded the chair, not after the last one he tried had tried to eject the pod that wasn’t there and almost vented the atmosphere (and him along with it) into a sudden, chilly death. Figuring that terrifying experience proved some god or devil was watchin out for him, he had signed up for this expedition. The poster next to the bar made it sound glamorous, promising food, bed and very nice pay, completely shut off from the outside world. After the first few months, however, the outside world found them again.

A pang of loss ran through him as the rotation that had been spinning him slightly to the left and forward for the last ten minutes turned his visor towards the pile of scrap metal that used to be his ship. It could be worse, he reflected. The other miner could have not pinged his scanner (his own scanner currently required 6 levers to be held down while turning a knob, and after the first week of carefully holding down those and only those levers with his body while turning the knob with his teeth, he had scrapped the whole complicated business, assuming that the other, more expensive ships and people would spot danger much more efficiently), and the few second of cursing with his spacesuit could have been replaced with him cursing without atmosphere at the hull of the nearby battlecruiser class ship burning through his ship. The random lever he had kicked at with his foot while struggling could have been something other than the engine bulkheads, which would have not stopped the explosion from the engine room that would have killed him if he had not pulled the ejection lever after accidentally kicking the bulkhead lever. Yes, he reasoned, as a salvage beam played over his suit and the pile of metal he used to fly, it could certainly be worse.

He was about to start listing the ways his situation could be better when the beams suddenly stopped trying to determine if the metal just below his left knee was worth anything and vanished without a sound. Out of the corner of his eye, he spotted a beautiful yellow explosion, which was puzzling. What barges that hadn’t gotten away had been destroyed completely ten minutes ago, leaving him the only survivor in the belt which, just a few scant minutes ago, had been happily mining. Well, as happily as you can pull 3 levers for each strip miner every three minutes and seven others once the cargo hold was full, all of which in the most difficult positions to reach.

He REALLY should have tipped that engineer. In hindsight, the man was smirking at him a bit too much as he had left the station.

Wanting to see more of the yellow light, the pilot cursed as he rotated out of view, being treated instead to the ships who had been picking his barge’s corpse a few seconds ago lighting their engines and hightailing it in the direction of the light.  His frustration at this suddenly winked out with nary a farewell as the section of space in front of him shimmered and coalesced into the ship his friend had purchased before joining him on the expedition, citing a small disclaimer on the poster that being able to operate scanning equipment and detect the fluctuation of this hellhole-pocket of space they were in would result in a nice bonus. The ship had been cheap, it’s systems ranging from anywhere from second to fourth hand, and the scan Equipment worked most of the time. In keeping, the cloaking device that the merchant had assured him was straight from the Caldari navy supply store he had given his friend for his last birthday could only work for three minutes at a time.

The ship was ugly.

He was sure that the designer of the Gallente scanner fitted ship had had a glorious dream of a ship with sleek curves, that would be pleasing to the eye while designed to be invisible. He was similarly sure that somewhere along the line an engineer took the glorious, beautiful design and scrapped it due to a drunken bar bet, replacing the blueprints with those of an item generally seen in the hands of exotic dancers on holoreels.

Regardless of how he felt about the ship in general, as the green glow of a tractor beam guided him into the cargo hold and the ship burned space-rubber out of the , he didn’t give a flip what the damn thing looked like.

/*

Written suddenly while wiring the new lights for the kitchen. Not based on actual events, though some have been close. Seriously, the way the helios looks is why I cross-trained my main for caldari frigate, the damn thing looks like some sort of vibrator. In my opinion.

*/


Nullsec Whining

Well. Once again, patch notes come with no mention of changing the truly cumbersome size of the strategic upgrade whodiwhatsit thingy that takes a freighter to carry into nullsec. When I hear people citing the freighters getting slaughtered while being in a cap fleet and this means that small corps are similarly going to be roflpwned while just trying to fit in with the big boys and they think they’re funny but no-one ever laughs and…

Where was I?

Oh yeah, tiny corps. Anyway, you’d have to be asleep in a safespot with local turned off to not notice a fleet of cap ships and freighters moving through nullsec. If someone I knew were to suddenly start playing eve and told me that he would bet money that the large corps have spies from other corps in them, I’d probably agree. Back in my alliance days, every single industrial move or fuel run would have at least one red waiting at the end of the pipe. Actually, it was just the one time, but no corp or anything grows too big without getting flawed. I mean, the first thing I’d do before going into nullsec would be to establish a network of alts and players to stay in the know. For example, alliance A, B, and C. I get an alt to join alliance A, and laughing and talking is had, and the alt listens for any fleet joining or roams that are scheduled. If they find something, I’d inform alliance B through a second alt who happened to be in a covops next to the roam as it was forming, hypothetically. then, in theory, in a new alt in alliance 3, cry out for help having just been steamrolled by”50 big ships ouch big fleet come fight them wah wah WoW was better”.

Well, if I wasn’t such a lazy bastard, that’s what I’d do.

Anyway, I seriously start laughing when i hear about the cap fleet fighting because in my opinion, they’re going about it in the right way for them, but the wrong way in practice. Elaboration:

If you live or live next door to nullsec, you are there to shoot stuff. Or mine, then run and hide when local blips red. Anyway, the entire experience of null is beating the crap outta eachother, and what could be a bigger target than a huge pile of cap ships and frieghters to people who play the game to pvp? What I’m suggesting is to go a more covert way around. Like, say, research when the people who’s nullsec you’re stomping through sleep. I wouldn’t go through shadow of XXdeathxx or whatever’s territory at 6 at night russian time because I’d get my effin ass kicked by a bunch of guys laughing in languages that my online translator can’t understand. Admitted, the big, giant alliances will probably have most of the timezones covered, but you can still work around that. When I was running some ittys through nullsec, I’d log the itty off, have my alt check the next system for reds, and if anyone was there log off immediately and check back in half an hour. Again, I’m no nullsec goer, but one red in local is a scout, two is a coincidence, three is a conspiracy, 4 is ominous, and 70 are “goddamnit, another dread fleet’s here.”

Please, please for the love of whoever your god or lack of god is, don’t take me up on this, but if I had a freighter and a covops, I could probably get it from one end of eve to the other in a small, 2 man op. Or 3 man, just by checking a system, waiting till it’s clear, then moving through. It’d take a long time, but it’d get done.

I mentioned this alternative a few posts ago, but no-one noticed it, or at least didn’t mention it in a well thought out comment proposing an intuitive counter-argument (wink). Take a covops, sneak sneak sneak to the system, scan a WH, get a link to friendly nullsec, lowsec, whatever, fly freighter through, the world is safe for territorial jerks hurray.


Dominion nullsec mining

Dominion has me worried, not on how nullsec will become more interesting, but on how it will affect nullsec mining. As I said earlier, WH space mining is arguably the riskiest and profitable way to make isk in eve. It’s balanced that way, because after you mine the ore while looking over your shoulder every few seconds to make sure a Loki isn’t behind you, you have to either compress or refine the ore, then get it out of the WH itself which usually equates to pulling teeth while very carefully watching local(if you get a nullsec link) and the directional as you go through C2s, C3s and nullsecs. Getting supplies into the WH is a hassle, seeing as you need to haul any large amount of equipment in an industrial, and unless you have the isk/time invested in a covops blockade runners, gate camps are a pain.

On that note, losing 100 mil to a lowsec gatecamp while holding 6000 m3 has persuaded me to upgrade from my faithful, infinitely customizable Iteron mark V to a Viator which, had I been smart enough to use it previously, wouldn’t have lost me a total of 200 mil worth of modules over the last month. Anyway, Dominion.

What we’ve seen so far has been what we’ve been told, a moderately smooth transition from the old to the new, and funny people to laugh at when they lose freighters. On the freighter topic, my fingers are crossed that that will fix the megacyte market. and by “fix”, I mean “make my WH mining more profitable”. On this topic of profit, the news on grav sites scares me. Quoting a recent devBlog:

“Ore Prospecting Arrays: These are hidden asteroid belts and you get one site guaranteed for every level of upgrade to a maximum of five.  These are not the typical hidden belts though.  If you’ve ever been into wormhole space and seen some of the riches there, then you have an idea of what to expect.  Within these hidden belts reside mythical beasts such as ‘King Arkonor’ and many of his closest friends. These sites will re-spawn every downtime, so even if you do not mine out every rock, there will be fresh ones waiting for you the next day.”

In the WH space I like to say I live in, the roids are, coining a phrase, fuggin monsterously huge. Some unforeseen circumstances arose and it was just me in my hulk , my alt in a hauler, and an orca pilot who had fallen asleep in the pos a few hours ago. Timing myself, in about 7 hours of sitting there suspended between being scared and being bored out of my skull, I mined about 55,000 units of bist and the roid I was working on did not die. I have no head for the market, mostly because a good friend manages the selling of the refined ore, but i’m gonna assume that 880,000 m3 of nullsec ore is worth a hella lot. The immense wealth I am sitting on is still at risk, we could get bubbled getting it back to jita, hauling it out through connecting WHs and nullsec, and then a jita gank. But that’s what makes this whole lovely world balanced. If we wanted titanium, we’d mine in highsec for hours and make 3 mil per jetcan instead of the lovely 15 mil per jetcan nullsec ores bring. But in highsec you have local and there aren’t people activley seeking your murder. Except goons or hulkageddon or some dude in a destroyer killing you and still making enough isk to buy a new destroyer and do it all again. Anyway, its all a beautiful graph of risk verses profit.

I feel that nullsec changes are going to take that graph and break it over it’s knee. In friendly nullsec, which is where miners would usually go, I’d assume, there is very little risk. Admitted, you can’t AFK mine, but you’ve got local and you’ve marked every space-tree for 5 systems in every direction. If someone who wants you dead even thinks about scanning you out and killing you, you have about 5 minutes notice to warp out and maybe go back and get the jetcans too. This safety while still getting nice lowsec ores and the occasional nullsec, depending on how deep you are, is again balanced by you having fought tooth and nail for every damn inch and someone could bring in a fleet of dreads at any second and kill everything you’ve ever worked for. If I’m reading this change correctly, then for every system you control and upgrade, you’ll be able to get up to five very, very rich belts full of ABC, which can then be mined at much less risk than WH mining, which then can be hauled out through friendly nullsecs and sold, or used to build more dreads that can be used to scare the hell out of your neighbors or be used as space-lawn furnishings or whatever.

Bottom line, I expect the ABC market to start lowering prices or for everyone and their dog who can mine in nullsec to have enough ships to use them as torpedo ammo. So, in scenario one, the bottom falls out of the ABCs and WH miners start getting richer slower and new corps start getting money faster. Scenario 2, the market holds and everyone builds more blobs with the influx and there’s more Internet spaceship fighting hurray. Taking a step back, there’s a chance that this will all just end up with happier new corps and more ships to bash against each other, but there’s also a chance that things could go downhill.

I’m expecting the market to react in 3-4 weeks, since right now people are more concerned with actually getting the upgrade thingys into the nullsecs :P. Let me know if I can put one of those up in a wormhole, I’d guarantee we’d appreciate some minin love. Or maybe some sort of… incoming wormhole detector, which playes a sound file that sounds like a little girl screaming whenever an incoming WH appears.


Of WH mining and woe

It was a cold and black day. Not to say that it was colder or blacker than any other day, or if this was a day at all. Such is life in the wormhole.
The miner sat in the ancient hulk, bored out of his skull. Every three minutes, his ship would shudder and the console would tally the new ore in his hold. He would lazily instruct the cargo drones to pile the ore into a canister and jettison it into space. Sometimes, in jest, he would instruct the drones to jettison the container just so that the escaping air would propel the can into one of the other five antique mining barges next to him, then mentally smirk as it bounced off the shields to the indignant cry of the pilot. Then, a green light would snare the can, dragging it into the slightly less ancient hauling ship, a proud if aging Iteron mark V, piloted by the most attractive (read: only) female any of them had seen in the last three months of this expedition.
The asteroid before him silently imploded under the strain of the strip miners ravaging it, and the small group of barges slowly reoriented themselves to the next bistot asteroid, the strip miners for each ship crossing and forming a melodious pattern of whatever the hell the strip miners used to scrape the ore from it’s home; he had always zoned out when the station tech  started droning about those scientific whatsita. For all he cared, they ran on pixie dust.
Shaking himself out of his boredom induced stupor, he ran a system scan again, a echo of fear running through him briefly at the thought of an unwelcome visitor. But the scanner was clean. It was always clean. That was the thing about this place. Everything was perfectly safe until you took your eyes off it, like the temporary station they had set up next to planet J-whatever, which the resident mechanic had assured him would never fail… a second time. On mention of the incident where the shields had sputtered momentarily, the mechanic would always point fingers at the sputtering machinery and claim mechanical errors, all of which he had seamlessly repaired with nanite paste and old quafe cans.
Breaking his train of thought once again, the man ran a scan of the system, mentally sighing as he scrolled through the list. Then, he stopped. Re-reading the entry, he confirmed that there was no error.
Sister class combat probes. Five of em. Son of a bitch.
Screaming through fleet chat the impeding danger, he aligned his ship to the nearest planet, ever so slowly engaging warp, glad he had badgered the bastard running this operation to provide him with the tools to soup up his aligning time. It was still far too slow, though.
As the other ships slowly aligned themselves to their own celestial targets, a ship he only vaugely recognized from fuzzy pictures arrived at the belt they had been residing in, deftly manuvering around asteroids even as the miner heard the computer wail about a target lock being established.
One of the new pilots screamed into all our heads, painfully telling us that the Loki had done something to his warp core, that he couldn’t run. Desperatley, the old miner ordered his ship to target the minmatar bastard. He routed power from his useless strip miners to the only offensive capability his ship had, some cheap and shiny electronic countermeasures that just might be able to help the stricken pilot. Engaging the sensor dampener, the ECM modules warmed to completion, but just as it was about to fire, the old man’s warp drive sputtered to live and he was unwillingly yanked from his soon-to-be dead friend and into the void. He was safe, but as he silently set a warp course to the temporary station, the screams of the unlucky rang heavy in his ears.
The old man sat in his bunk, staring at the now empty beds beside his, the voices in his head repeating their screams over and over, his last memory of his friends. The hauler had survived, taking a quafe break in the hangar, and 2 others beside me, experienced men, had survived. The loss of the other two companions, one who he had tried and failed to save, echoed through his frame as he sobbed, the cold unfeeling part of his brain reminding him that he was still alive and the profits from this weeks ore could buy quite alot of happiness.